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Question
Posted by: anon. | 2012/04/15

close friend wants to commit suicide

my cousin has come to me and told me she is contemplating killing herself, she is also a very close friend, i myself have been through this (diagnosed bipolar in 2010) we are both 17, and i feel i have to help her. she made me promise to tell no one, but i did tell my mom who promised not to tell, and she refuses to tell her mom or dad... so how can i help her with out going against her wishes? because if she does it i think ill end up blaming myself.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

One should always refuse to accept such instructions, whereby someone tries to bind you to promise to do something dangerous to them, ( and, in a way, to you ) At 17, indeed at any age, its not fair to tell others you are thinking of killing yourself but that they must not do the obvious things to help them.
She MUST be persuaded to see a counsellor, preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist, and to frankly tell them what she has told you. SHe must get proper expert assessment and help.
Sometimes someone like that is being manipulative, whether or not they realise it, and want their parents ( or whoever ) to be told, without themselves taking responsibility for doing so or even for giving permission for it.
Tying yout hands is so unfair, if you respect her unrespectable conditions, as it would make you an accomplice in any attempt she made to harm herself, and would obviously and cruelly force you into a situation in which you could feel terribly guilty for not having done all you could to be helpful rather than obedient. As maria says, rather a temporarily angry friend than a dead one

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/04/16

You must tell her parents. She might be angry at you now, but I think you will agree that it is better to have a friend who is angry at you than one who is dead. Are either or both of you seeing a psychologist? That is someone else you could tell if you don''t want to tell her parents. Take care.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/16

One should always refuse to accept such instructions, whereby someone tries to bind you to promise to do something dangerous to them, ( and, in a way, to you ) At 17, indeed at any age, its not fair to tell others you are thinking of killing yourself but that they must not do the obvious things to help them.
She MUST be persuaded to see a counsellor, preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist, and to frankly tell them what she has told you. SHe must get proper expert assessment and help.
Sometimes someone like that is being manipulative, whether or not they realise it, and want their parents ( or whoever ) to be told, without themselves taking responsibility for doing so or even for giving permission for it.
Tying yout hands is so unfair, if you respect her unrespectable conditions, as it would make you an accomplice in any attempt she made to harm herself, and would obviously and cruelly force you into a situation in which you could feel terribly guilty for not having done all you could to be helpful rather than obedient. As maria says, rather a temporarily angry friend than a dead one

Reply to cybershrink

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